Samsung Executive Says Google Interfered with Search App Offering

Patrick Chang, a former executive at Samsung Electronics’ venture capital arm, said on Thursday that he faced pushback from Google after proposing that mobile app developer Branch Metrics’ software offerings be expanded for Samsung smartphones. Chang, who works at Samsung Next to invest in creative firms, persuaded the parent company to expand Branch’s products to its Android handsets, which can search within applications. Yesterday, Google’s counsel did cross-examine Chang. He was questioned if there was any reason for Samsung’s indifference in Branch. Google raised the issue of clumsy software and user apathy towards what Branch has to offer.

Alexander Austin, the founder and former CEO of Branch Metrics, said in late September that his business altered some of its software’s functionality to avoid Google’s objections while it pursued partnerships with wireless carriers and smartphone makers. Austin stated that Branch had to guarantee that its searches remained within applications and were never linked to the web. Chang said that Samsung also received opposition from wireless carriers that offer Android phones, such as AT&T.

Samsung’s Effort to Give Users More Choice in Browser Defaults Blocked by Google

During the questioning, the Justice Department displayed an email from Samsung executive David Eun from August 2020, in which he warned that “Google is clearly buying its way to squelch competitors.” Google is accused of paying $10 billion per year in revenue share agreements to smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics, cellular carriers, and others in exchange for making its software the default and maintaining its search monopoly.

Under cross-examination by a Google attorney, Chang was asked about another possible explanation for Samsung’s disinterest in Branch, which is that the software was cumbersome and few users clicked on the links supplied by Branch. Chang testified during the fourth week of a two-month trial in which the US Justice Department is attempting to prove that Google misused its search monopoly and certain search advertising. Google has said that its practices are legitimate.

If Google loses this trial, it may have to divide up portions of the corporation, among other things. If so, the corporation might still suffer significant damage as a result of the information that has appeared. It remains to be seen; there are still more testimonials to be heard.

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Thanks to “Reuters